“Do Aura Restaurant at National Gallery and Osteria Art share the same owner? The menus are similar,” BFF Paul asked.
Wow. That blew my mind. Don’t play play. BFF Paul knows his food. I hesitated going to Aura because the menu looks tired. Another Italian restaurant? Yawn. Furthermore, we had a middling experience at Osteria Art (but a good one at &Sons).
But the food is slightly better than Osteria Art’s. 3-course set lunch starts from $32++ but BFF Paul, aka Rich Paul, aka the legendary Paul in “rob Peter to pay Paul”, preferred the more interesting a la carte items.
He liked the grilled endives ($20) because it’s paired interestingly with julienne truffle, but it is too bitter for me. The mushroom consomme ($20) is also interesting only because it isn’t mushroom cream soup, and has a scent of tomato. He found the grilled octopus ($25, above) overly chewy but I liked the char aroma.
Some pastas shouldn’t be handmade and the handmade burnt wheat orecchiette ($26, above) is ugly and overly doughy and bland with asparagus, even with its hint of spice.
The other main, red snapper ($35, below), is too soft but the the mild flavor of the fish is brought out, not dominated, by the oyster cacciucco (oyster stew). The oysters are shockingly fresh and delicious, and may have upstaged the fish, which should be the main focus. But let’s not be so FirstWorldProblems and complain about things that are already good.
Their desserts are their Achilles’ heel. The red berries in molten cake ($18) doesn’t flow but it tastes ok.
As a whole, the food is slightly better than Osteria Art’s, but still flawed. Besides, the latter has better service and decor. (Our servers at Aura, for instance, forgot to bring us utensils. And they didn’t introduce the dishes to us.)
We He paid $170 for two persons.
1 Andrews Road, National Gallery Singapore #05-03 Singapore 178957
t +65 6866 1977
12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm daily
Overall rating: 3.313/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.